Today, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer announced her office is setting aside $48,000 in funding for a new Manhattan Police-Community Relations Improvement Initiative, to support long-term, sustainable projects aimed at restoring trust between police officers and the communities they serve.
The new program’s creation was spurred by Brewer’s series of community dialogue events on police-community relations, which were hosted in partnership with civil rights attorney Norman Siegel. The event series culminated in the publication of “Improving Police-Community Relations,” a report with recommendations co-authored by Siegel, Brewer, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“Throughout our police-community dialogues, what impressed me most was the level of engagement between our neighborhoods’ young people and police officers. They talked things through, they respected each other, and they came up with great ideas,” said Brewer. “I’m funding this program because I’m confident our borough’s young people, if they have the support, can find the next great idea that will improve both policing and our communities’ relationship with police officers.”
The Borough President’s office will issue four awards of $12,000 each. Awardees will undertake innovative programs centered on youth-generated ideas, and could focus on one or more of the following areas:
- Engagement between youth and police officers
- Educational trainings to assist police officers with youth and community engagement
- Trust-building activities, exposing youth to the work of police officers
- Data collection and analysis projects relevant to police-community relations
- Legal services, advice, and education on policing and interactions with police
- Leadership skills and mentoring programs
The award is open to community-based 501(c) nonprofit organizations registered with the New York State Charities Bureau. Award funding will offset operating expenses and non-capital purchases made by qualifying programs.
The Borough President’s office will accept applications through January 8, 2016. Award recipients will be selected through a competitive review process. Click here for more information on the Police-Community Relations Improvement Initiative.